Seven Must-Have Company Goal Strategies For 2021
If you had to score your business’s performance over the past 24 months on a scale from one to 10, with 10 being the best score, what number would you give it? And how are you coming up with that evaluation?
Setting business goals is critical to success in any organization, and it is also one of the best ways to truly identify how your business is doing.
As you plan to take the new year by storm, here are seven must-have strategies to bake into your 2021 business goal planning.
1. Identify where you’re at now and which daily actions impact the business.
It’s difficult to gauge success without clear starting points, so make sure you have your standard business data on hand, such as sales, costs, profits, etc. If you are really looking to progress this year, try to pair them with goals that are related to behavioral activities around the company. Watching the sales number is great, but a lot of action happens before the sale.
Try this: Pull some numbers you might not have thought about pulling before, and stack them against your standard data to look for trends. Examples would be the number of social media engagements per month in relation to sales per month or type of products sold per month compared to time spent on the phone. You are looking for critical actions that happen every day and hurt or help your company.
2. Set clear, small steps.
You can have big dreams for your business, but to reach them, you must take many small steps along the way. You cannot wish your way to $100 million in sales; you need to have a detailed plan on how to get there.
When writing about this topic, I’m always reminded of Shark Tank‘s Kevin O’Leary when he shared that his company “found that about 95 percent of the women-led companies met their financial targets, compared with just 65 percent for businesses with male leaders.” The commonality of companies that met their financial targets was not their gender, but rather their goal-setting strategies. When digging in, O’Leary found that the more successful companies set achievable quarterly targets rather than swinging for the fences.
Start by trying to increase your performance by 2% across the board, and grow from there.
3. Get companywide buy-in.
Growing a successful company takes a committed and focused team. Having employees at all levels make suggestions about company goals and building a set of their own that tie to the company’s vision delivers compounded benefits.
A study released by the Journal of Business & Economic Policy shared substantial research that found employee goal programs can increase effort and performance across the board. Management by objectives, or MBOs as it’s often called, is a great employee goal program to follow if you don’t currently have one. You can find a free MBO template on the U.S. Small Business Administration’s website.
4. Consider using new business power tools.
I believe big data and business analytics are to businesses as spinach is to Popeye: a power punch packed with a competitive advantage. There is a reason the big data and analytics market is expected to grow to $274.3 billion by 2022, according to Statista. No longer made for just big companies, data and analytics can help you make sure every goal you have is measured in detail.
Consider investing in these tools to help deliver valuable insights and make better decisions about your company. Several companies offer affordable services you can choose from, such as Google Analytics, IBM, Microsoft’s Power BI, and many more.
5. Set your accountability checkpoints.
Napoleon Hill wasn’t kidding when he said, “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” You must match each small step of your goals to weekly and monthly benchmarks. By constantly measuring your progress against timelines, the company builds a wildly healthy habit of focusing on its most important metrics.
6. Ignite the team.
Competition, bonuses and recognition awards can bring a spark to any team. Carve money out of the budget to build friendly competition among teams and make sure the juice is worth the squeeze. No one wants to bust their tail to win something corny. Put some real thought into it, and make sure your rewards reflect your appreciation. Finally, make a big deal of it. Host a kickoff event to declare the goals and recognition program to the company in order to give everyone an energetic start.
7. Don’t quit easily.
Chances are you will not hit all your targets throughout the year. But hard work and dedication pays off, so do not get discouraged if you fall behind your goal plans.
In business, things can go from zero to 100 quickly. Stay focused, make minor adjustments as needed, but do not give up.